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In the End

The Obituaries Page

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The “In the End” team takes a few moments to memorialize a few things that are no longer with us.

“HOW CAN I HELP YOU TODAY, SIR?” died yesterday. He was 138. Used as the top retail salutation during its entire life, “How Can I Help You Today, Sir?” passed away after a short battle with handheld texting devices. Its final blow came in Mel’s House of Jewels in Toledo, OH, when a salesperson uttered the welcoming phrase to a young man as he walked in the door. The man, however, was updating his Facebook profile to read “is now single” and thus completely ignored the salesperson. “How Can I Help You Today, Sir?” is survived by “Good Afternoon!” and “If You Need Help With Anything, Just Let Me Know.”


THE RETIREMENT WATCH passed away last week. It was 71. Long held in esteem by short-sleeved-shirt wearing businessmen of many corporate stripes, the retirement watch was given as a measure of respect to retiring employees before they shuffled off to Boynton Beach. The cause of Retirement’s Watch death is unclear; Irony seems to have something to do with it, as well as This Damned Recession. Retirement Watch is survived by Layoff Toothpick.


TOPAZ, specifically the doo-doo brown variety most often referred to as “Smoky,” died yesterday after a long illness when Merideth Smeggleman, a Bellmore, NY, high school junior, discovered her November birth date mandated she get the stone set in her high school ring, which needed to be ordered by this Friday. Smeggleman, a cheerleader who is dating a college sophomore, totally wigged out at the notion of the brown-hued ring. Instead, she demanded her daddy buy her diamond earrings.


JOKES ABOUT CUBIC ZIRCONIA perished last week at the age of 33. The cause was bludgeoning. Long held as a topic worthy of witty banter amongst grooms-to-be, cubic zirconia jokes seemed to be fair ground for all involved. That is until Jerry Winkleman, a jeweler based out of Lubbock, TX, snapped after a prospective groom inspected a diamond ring and asked, with husky chuckle, if the ring was, in fact, “that cubed macaronia (bleep).” Winkleman took the man out to the toolshed and learned him something good.


“HIGHEST PRICE FOR GOLD” SIGNS died yesterday after a short battle with common sense. Said Jane Trippleman, who was seeking to sell her grandmother’s brooch: “I don’t get it. How can each jewelry store in a strip mall within a 10-mile radius of my home claim to pay the highest prices for gold? Clearly, one of them pays the highest, and the others … don’t.” Trippleman also mentioned the signs were “tacky.” She decided to keep the brooch.

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SCHEMING TO IMPROVE YOUR RANKING ON YELP.COM was killed yesterday after a poster going by the name “I’m Not the Owner of Jim’s Gems and Jewels, No Really, I’m Not” posted a glowing review of Jim’s Gems and Jewels, specifically highlighting the customer service, fair prices and the fact Jim, the owner, has a “fantastically toned butt.” Other jewelry store owners in the vicinity of Jim’s Gems and Jewels responded by posting their own Yelp entries, and consumers in the area all decided to go to Zales.com instead.

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When Sales Beat Projections, You Know Wilkerson Did Its Job

There are no crystal balls when it comes to sales projections. But when Thomasville, Georgia jeweler Fran Lewis chose Wilkerson to run the retirement/going-out-of-business sale for Lewis Jewelers and More, she was pleasantly surprised to learn that even Wilkerson could one-up its own sales numbers. “Not only did we meet our goal, but we exceeded the goal that Wilkerson had given us by about 134%,” she says. After more than 40 years in the business, Lewis says she decided a few years ago to “move towards retirement.” And she was impressed by Wilkerson’s tenure in the industry. Overall, she’d recommend the company to anyone else who may be thinking it’s time to hang up their loupe. “As a full package, they’ve done a very good job and I’d definitely recommend Wilkerson.”

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